New cheeses, new venues and new ways of getting cheesy all part of the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival (15 – 23 September)
Visitors can expect new cheeses to taste during this September’s Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival as well as enjoying cheesy-themed events at many venues that are getting involved for the first time.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park has finalised the week-long programme which runs from 15-23 September and includes a celebration of the county’s fine local food.
Several new cheeses are expected to be launched including Stonebeck farmhouse cheese that visitors can try for the first time during the open weekend at Low Riggs Farm in Nidderdale at the beginning of the Festival.
Visitors can go on a veritable cheese pilgrimage during the week, starting with the two-day mini Festival at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes and then dropping in at various venues including several new ones right across both the Yorkshire Dales and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
New events and venues include Wine by Slow Food Kitchen in Skipton with their Cheese Lover’s Night, the Riverbank café at Burnsall which is serving up a special rarebit dish for the occasion, St Marks Stays in Cautley which is staging a beer and cheese tasting evening. Meanwhile Campbells of Leyburn are lining up cheese and wine experts and the newly-opened boutique hotel in Sedbergh, the Black Bull, is running a six-course Dales Celebration menu on September 16.
Those wanting to work up an appetite first can choose from a six-mile cheesey trail run at Askrigg, a two-day bike ride through the heart of cheese-making territory in Wensleydale and Swaledale, or guided walks where visitors can enjoy a scenic stroll in the company of volunteers full-to-brim with local dairying knowledge.
While many of the events are family-friendly, two new events are aimed particularly at youngsters – a cheese-themed Forest School for kids at Aysgarth on September 20 and the Cheesy 2 Dales off-road children’s bike ride starting off from Hawes on September 22.
Meanwhile history buffs and those interested in the art of cheese making are well-catered for with days devoted to the region’s rich dairying heritage.
For instance on September 18 visitors can while away time learning more about the fascinating history being uncovered by the Dairy Days project at Askrigg Village Hall while on September 23 expert Andy Swinscoe will be talking about his research into 1930s cheese-making and how it’s leading to a revival of farmhouse cheeses.
The event then begins winding down in spectacular style with the North of England’s first Beer and Beef Festival on 22 September featuring rare breed Dexter beef reared on the host venue, Springhill Farm at Jervaulx.
Helen Dalton, destination co-ordinator for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority commented:
“It’s great to see so many new venues participating in the Festival and flying the flag for our fantastic cheeses and other local produce that are such an important part of the experience for people when they visit our protected landscapes.”
More information including the booking details for individual events on www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/cheese-festival.